By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
JUNE 25, 2002
GAME 75 - ANGELS AT RANGERS
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's been a Jekyll-and-Hyde season for Angels pitcher Scott Schoeneweis, and Tuesday night at The Ballpark in Arlington, Mr. Hyde showed up again.
Schoeneweis gave up eight runs in only 4 2/3 innings and the Angels dropped their third game in the past two days to the Texas Rangers, 11-5, the Rangers' eighth win in row overall. The Angels lefty gave up four hits, three which were home runs, and walked five while he continued his trend of throwing either very well or very poorly.
He's allowed one run or fewer in five of his 15 starts, but he's allowed five runs or more in five of the starts. The inconsistency is troubling to the Angels, who have a replacement ready in John Lackey should they decide to demote Schoeneweis to the bullpen.
Lackey threw seven strong innings in a 3-2 loss on Monday, but was optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake after the game. Scioscia said Schoeneweis' spot in the rotation is safe for now, but Schoeneweis (6-6) is taking nothing for granted.
``I'll have a job somewhere,'' he said. ``If it's here, it's here. If it's not, it's not.
``(Seattle's) Freddy Garcia gave up 10 runs the other night. Is his job in jeopardy? If I'm not good enough to pitch here or at this level, so be it. It's not going to rule my life. I have confidence. I do everything I'm supposed to do. The results aren't there all the time, but I'll keep working on it.''
The game started out innocently enough for Schoeneweis and the Angels. Bengie Molina's bases-loaded double off ex-Angel Ismael Valdes in the second inning gave the Angels a 3-0 lead. After Rafael Palmeiro's home run (career No. 463) cut Texas' deficit to 3-1, Adam Kennedy's RBI single in the third upped the Angels' lead to 4-1.
Rangers rookie Ryan Ludwick's solo homer (career No. 1) in the third made it 4-2 before the roof caved in on Schoneweis in the fifth.
He walked four batters in the inning and all four scored. He also gave up a two-run homer to ex-Angel Todd Greene. Kevin Mench added a three-run homer off reliever Lou Pote. By the time the inning was over, Schoeneweis was through and the Rangers scored eight to go up, 10-4.
``It's tough enough to pitch behind in the count, but you can't put logs on the fire,'' Scioscia said, referring to the walks. ``There's no way you can walk that many guys. ... Schoeneweis works very hard on it. Unfortunately consistency right now is not in his corner.
``We're still waiting for him to put it all together. We know it's inside him. It's not like he hasn't made improvements. At some time he's got to bring that package into a start every fifth day, but we haven't seen that yet.''
Schoeneweis said he has no answers for his inconsistency and in fact said he felt good Tuesday.
``The way I look at it is I lost the battles in the at-bats,'' he said of the walks. ``They're good hitters and I just lost the battles. That will kill you. I thought I had decent stuff. The sun will come up tomorrow and I'll be here, hopefully.''
Though the Angels offense got off to a good start, Valdes settled in and went seven innings in his fourth start against his former teammates this year. He's pitched well in all four, going 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA.
After allowing the three runs, he retired 13 of the next 14 hitters, the only batter to reach base doing so on an error.
``I have no idea,'' Valdes (5-6) said when asked to explain his success against the Angels. ``Every time I pitch, it seems I'm pitching against the Angels. I don't know the answer. They have good hitters and they're aggressive. I think tonight I was hitting spots and it helped get me through the lineup. I treat every hitter over there like a No. 4 hitter.''
ARLINGTON, Texas -- John Lackey would have preferred a one-way ticket from Salt Lake and not the round-tripper he got from the Angels, but he said he understood the situation.
The Angels needed an extra starter just for the day, and Lackey gave them seven strong innings, allowing three runs and six hits against a potent Rangers lineup in a 3-2 Angels loss. Immediately after the game, he was optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Still, Lackey might be wise to keep a suitcase handy. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Lackey is ``pushing the door'' towards joining the starting rotation, but for now there is no need. None of the five Angels starters has a losing record, but that's not to say some haven't struggled.
Scott Schoeneweis, who got hammered by the Rangers for eight runs Tuesday, has an ERA of 5.38. He has pitched out of the bullpen in the past. Another starter, Aaron Sele, and Scioscia acknowledge that Sele hasn't pitched like they expected. He's 6-5, but his ERA is 5.54 and opposing batters have hit .324 against him.
``I have confidence in all of the starters we have here now,'' Scioscia said. ``The five guys have done the job for the most part. Some have hit bumps in the road, but you only make a move if it makes you better. They're the reason why we're where we are right now. Right now Lackey is best-served pitching at Salt Lake.''
Lackey, 23, is 8-2 with a 2.57 ERA at Salt Lake and said he's happy he got the opportunity but isn't in a rush to take anyone's spot in the rotation.
``These guys are doing the job,'' Lackey said of Sele, Schoeneweis, Kevin Appier, Ramon Ortiz and Jarrod Washburn.
``Obviously, I'd like to stay here, but it's not my time. I don't think I hurt myself (with Monday's performance). It would have been nice to get a win, but at least I got it (major league career) started.''
Michael Young is in his first full season as the Rangers starting second baseman, and the 1994 Bishop Amat High graduate already is in the record book.
He played in 106 games with the Rangers last season, and teamed with shortstop Alex Rodriguez to hit the most home runs in a single season by a middle-infield combination in major league history -- 63.
Of course, Rodriguez carried the load, hitting 52 while Young hit 11. This season, Young is hitting .271 with seven homers and 36 RBIs.
``The biggest thing about the big leagues is that it's such a mental grind,'' said Young, whose high school teammate Mike Lamb is also a member of the Rangers. ``I'd like to avoid the mental roller coaster, the hot and cold. If you find a way to maintain that consistency, the numbers will be there in the end.''
First baseman/DH Shawn Wooten will begin a rehab assignment at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday. Wooten sustained a strained muscle in his right side on May 31 while he was on a rehab assignment following thumb surgery. ... Broadcaster and ex-Angel Rex Hudler and his wife Jennifer will host a fundraiser for their foundation ``Team Up For Down Syndrome'' on Friday in the Diamond Club at Edison Field.